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tv   [untitled]    December 9, 2011 2:00pm-2:30pm PST

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commissioner campos: good morning. welcome to december 6, 2011 meeting of the san francisco county transportation authority plans and programs committee. my name is david campos. we are joined by scott wiener, john avalos, david chiu, the
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committee vice chair carmen chu, is on route. we want to thank the following members of the sfgtv staff for covering the meeting. please call item 2. >> approve the minutes of the november 8, 2011 meeting. this is an action item. commissioner campos: is there anyone from the public that would like to comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. colleagues, we have an item before us. motion by commissioner amylose, seconded by commissioner chiu. without objection. please call item 3. >> citizens advisory committee report. this is an information item. >> because of the holiday schedule, the citizens advisory schedule -- committee has a combined november and december
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schedule. we are meeting tomorrow night and we will report any of the findings in the following week. >> commissioner campos: thank you. is there any member of the public that would like to speak on item 3? seeing none, public comment is closed. please call item 4. >> update on the implementation of california high-speed rail. this is an information item. commissioner campos: this is an information item requested by scott wiener. commissioner wiener? commissior wiener: thank you. this is a hearing i called to make sure that we, as a city family, our core knitted and moving together strategically to ensure high speed rail happens and expand to the transbay terminal. in retrospect, it was overly ambitious to have a hearing today. it takes a lot of coordination between some agencies involved, so i would like to conduct a hearing in january instead, at
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the plans and programs committee. i would make a motion to continue the item to january -- i do not know what the date is. commissioner campos: do we know when the next meeting in january would be? if not, we can make a motion to the first meeting of the plans and programs committee. >> january 10, for those watching. >> commissioner campos: before we take action, is there anyone from the public that would like to comment on this item? you each have three minutes. >> my name is francisco acosta. on this item, if we have a hearing, we should not have a hearing just in january. we need to find out exactly how much the whole project will
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cost, in its entirety. reports have been written in detail in some better newspapers, like "the l.a. times." we also need to invite people like clinton -- quinton copp, and we also need to find copper the role of the transbay. if this building is built, as proposed, and you can see it in detail on their website, then we need to figure out how this huge facility will be linked with high-speed rail.
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whatever the project is, the short one and a long one. the right person who can explain this to us and the public is a person like robert beck. we do not want a hearing just to have a hearing in a general way. those hearings do not help. we need to inform the people, the taxpayers, exactly. it would also be good to get someone from the republican party. they seem to be totally against this project. we need to put them here on the podium and really find out how the republican party feels about this, and why? this would also be a good opportunity to bring someone like nancy pelosi -- and if she cannot come, her aide, or
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somebody from dianne feinstein's office, to explain to us what is really going on in washington, d.c. as local representatives, you support that our representatives are doing a good job, and maybe so. but we need to bring them here and at least send them an invitation. if they come, it would be a pleasure to hear them. if they do not come, then we know exactly where this stands. those are my comments. in the year 2012, let's be very serious. we have had too many fraud and malkin nation's. >> commissioner campos: thank you. is there anyone from the public that would like to comment on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. we have a motion by commissioner
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wiener, seconded by commissioner avalos. motion to continue, without objection. please call items five and six together. >> item 5. finding of the balboa park station capacity study. this is an information item. item six. recommend allocation of $345,000 in prop k funds, with conditions, to the san francisco municipal transportation agency for balboa park fast track intermodal improvements and appropriation of $65,600 in prop k funds, with conditions, for the balboa park station area circulation study, subject to the attached fiscal year cash flow distribution schedules. this is an action item. commissioner campos: thank you. commissioner avalos? commissioner avalos: as these items are linked to balboa park station, in the center of my district, as well as district 7, i wanted to have some opening comment for this item. i have happened looking at balboa park station for a number of years, trying to see how we can jump-start improvements there. a lot of the improvements have
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been reliant on this capacity study. hearing what will come out of this is important, determine how we move forward. i also feel a lot of things could have been done at the station could have been done earlier, before this study is done. it is one of the most used stations of the bart system, the fifth most used, one of the business transit hubs in san francisco because we have city college, a number of schools and parks, and several neighborhoods all combining in that area. my biggest contention is, under the mta, we have an emphasis on that side as more of a maintenance facility versus a transit hub. i think we have to marry the two ideas more consistently under the idea that the people who come there, most of the people, are using it to get through to work, school, and we need to make sure that that site can better serve them.
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also, how can we better create better conditions in the neighborhood to have a transit hub that will be much more effective for the neighborhood, and what resources do we need to bring their? under the better neighborhoods plan approved in 2009, when i first got to the board of supervisors, the idea of a transit village was one that came out of that study. i do believe that we need to move in that direction. i think there are some challenges, moving forward, whether we have agreements on the mta on how to best proceed with that, or whether we should proceed at all. from my perspective, the perspective of many people in my district -- i would say the majority of those who have an eye on how we can make improvements there -- the idea that we can create transit amenities, a trend that village, commercial space, will have the greatest impact on improving conditions for all users, and even the workers of the
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maintenance facility. without further ado, i just wanted to open up with those comments. i am sure i will have some questions to relate, moving forward. >> thank you, commissioner avalos. senior planning with the authority. as we have noted, this is one of three items related to balboa park. as your remarks in the kit, balboa park is very important for transit in the area, the busiest -- one of the busiest bart stations, as you mentioned. there are some big challenges, especially for the passenger experience, including how they board, get between boarding areas, winning conditions. as we have heard, continuing interest in improvements and land use issues. in recognition of this, transportation agencies have been working on multiple projects that all stages of
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development. some have been open, some are still on the drawing board. we will hear about those today. as a reminder, there are three items here, one is an information item about san francisco municipal transportation agency recently completed balboa park capacity study. that will be followed by two action items, one on the sfmta fund request for the short-term profits be recommended by that station capacity study, and finally, an action item from the authority, on the request for local match to a new grant we received that we would like to use for new citizen advisory committee, and for further study of balboa park. we will begin with the balboa park capacity study that commissioner abel los alluded to. the executive summary starts on page 9 of your packet. by way of background, in 2009,
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sfmta requested prop k funds in their amount of 5 under 7 $9,000 to -- three and $45,000 to look of those issues that you indicated, including existing problems and potential short- term solutions for things like the passenger experience, safety and accessibility, amenities. also, looking at those proposed improvements from the better neighborhoods plan, including feasibility of some of the proposed infrastructure changes. some big changes proposed in the plan. there were ideas of every developing sfmta land for mixed usage, including the upper yard. that study has been on going. staff has been participating in the interagency advisory board. staff is here to present the findings. including progress on the feasibility study and the list
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of short-term projects moving forward. at this point, i will ask frank from sfmta to give that presentation. >> thank you, chester. good morning, commissioners. i am frank markovitz, a senior planner for the sfmta, also the project manager for the station capacity and conceptual engineering study. as you heard, i will first give a brief presentation on the broader study itself, which was funded by prop k. authority and other staff were involved.
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after some q&a, i will come back to talk briefly about the current prop k funding request, which is a little bit more narrowly focused. you have the draft final report, an executive summary in front of you. i am not going to attempt to cover many points in that study, but i will hit on some key findings and recommendations and next steps. this study group on of the adopted neighborhood plan, the 2009 balboa park station area plan, which established land use and transportation vision for the area.
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our agency, other agencies, the consultant team assessed the feasibility of key transportation proposals in that plan and develop short-term projects consistent with that refine vision for the transportation system. we had a consultant team that was headed by jacobs engineering, including other specialists, including a structural engineer with experience on this kind of feasibility area study. we are close to being finished. we hope to finalize our project report early next year.
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from the beginning, we consider that, look at that as many technical and policy input for investment decisions, not a plan document for policy board adoption. there are a number of plans out there. there will be another one with the authority's upcoming circulation study. we are focused especially on implementation. for example, funding strategy is a key piece. some of the key issues and opportunities i am going to talk about often deal with trade- offs. for example, there is limited space for multiple modes, very good transit access that gives it a strong potential for transit-oriented development, but at the same time, there is
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tension. if we are looking at using the sfmta rail vehicle and maintenance storage facilities, which will be increasingly needed to handle growth in our light rail and historic street car fleets, growth that is needed to support development, tod's throughout the city. light rail boarding areas. bus loading areas. they are dispersed. there are a number of safety and accessibility concerned that certainly should be addressed. first, the study looks at existing conditions. we have a lot of assets of a strong neighborhood here. we have the schools, college, park, very good transit access.
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there is high ridership and activity. but we also have a lot of facilities in a relatively small space. i would call it the big squeeze. you have right next to the freeway a storage yard, this station, stops. of course, we need to accommodate bikes and pedestrians as well. moving on to the vision from the better neighborhoods station area plan, that plan identified a key problem in the area which is the i-280 freeway dividing the neighborhood.
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that plan, developed by the city planning department, adopted in 2009, proposes decking over 280, geneva, ocean, and modifying the interchange. there would be a lot of benefits to that. you can see the deck would provide opportunities for housing and other development, better trends that access, and would knit the neighborhood closer together. consultants looked at that and found, however, that there would be very high cost, upwards of $1 billion. the cost and complexity, it would be a regional scale
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project, something like doral drive -- doyle drive. the plan also looked at ways to improve transit access, bringing stocks together, looking for opportunities for transit- oriented development, and especially looking at the upper yard site, at the southwest corner of geneva and san jose, where we have a satellite rail facility -- real storage facility, a kiss and ride drop- off area. the plan proposed developing that as a transit village. the eir assumed, for purposes of analysis, about 200 dwelling
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units, 10,000 square feet of support, retail. a number of benefits would take advantage of the transit access, potentially provide affordable housing. the challenge we face is how we can get along with the upper yard, which up until a couple of years ago, was used for overnight and we can storage of vehicles. that will be needed in the short term when we replace rails and evergreen yards on the north side of the geneva. the study found from the transportation standpoint, it is feasible. the transit village would be compatible with the overall transportation system, but it also revealed a lot of issues internally with storage,
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maintenance needs, that really need to be looked at from the system-wide perspective. commissioner campos: i think we have a question from commissioner abel los -- avalos. commissioner avalos: this is the area for me that has the greatest amount of contention. that decking of the freeway, something that is not really feasible of -- at the time. your study concurs. seems like a red herring to even talk about it. when it comes to the upper yard, which is the south side of geneva and san jose area, that zone, under the better neighborhoods plan for mixed use development, commercial development, and the mta conclude that that is the area we need to store our vehicles.
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basically, it puts on hold any major changes we can make in that area in the balboa park area. you mentioned the big squeeze. the big squeeze only gets to be stronger and we try to cram more maintenance facilities into the area. that squeezes out the thousands and thousands of people that use the site every day. i am going to be challenging the mta on its contention on this. i want to see alternatives that can go in place to use the upper yard as a storage facility. i thought that that was important to bring up. >> ok, thanks. i mentioned we had the system- wide study. that will look at not just our facilities, but how we can support transit-wide -- oriented systems citywide. it needs to be considered in the
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city-wide context. commissioner avalos: what was the conclusion of the mta, looking at the reservoir site as a storage facility? we have the k line tracks that are close to their. -- there. >> we looked at that and found it would be a very costly project. a new storage and maintenance yard is on the order of 150 million. this is probably the hardest kind of funding to find. there was a number of other issues, the compatibility with the city, college uses, additional operating costs.
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the grignard and the upper yard supporting it, they are really at a very strategic location right where you have three lines ending and you have your major intersection at san jose and at the geneva. supervisor avalos: that looks like a role that they can play, help where we can do our storage. i don't think that we can do more at the site. we do have a responsibility of looking at our citywide needs but certainly the storage facility that serves the entire city is a citywide need. we will do everything we can tikrit a better experience for
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the thousands of people that deal with this congestion. looking at the reservoir site, these could be explored. the other options, $150 million is the kind of investment that we need to make to serve the entire city. i don't think that we have had the understanding of the transit first needs, how they can be explored across the city. >> thank you. i think that there will be opportunities to explore that in our real estate study, in our upcoming circulation study. that is something to look at further. still with the transit oriented development, the city did find this consistent with station
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area plan and there is a good opportunity for retail filler liner on the north side. this would take advantage of empty air space and could serve our customers, the transit passengers. another set of issues that the study looked at, the transit boarding areas.
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this drops passengers off in the streets. this is before looping around our storage and maintenance yard and heading back down. this is not an accessible location. the study recommended seriously looking at moving that northbound final stop to the geneva-san jose intersection

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